Does the world hate you? Have you been mistreated because of what you believe? No? Then maybe we don’t look enough like Christ…
Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly [despite what it costs them], but those who despise Him [the LORD] are devious in their ways [against His followers].
Listen to the words of Christ:
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If people did wrong to me, they will do wrong to you, too. And if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours, too. 21 They will do all this to you on account of me, because they do not know the One who sent me.
There are three things we need to take away from this passage:
- We belong to Christ!
- People are not our enemy; Satan and his horde are our enemy. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12. Are they deceived? Yes. Willfully rebellious? Yes. Beyond redemption? Not until death. It is our job to pray for them.
- We will be treated like the world treated Christ. It is an honor. “They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” Acts 5:40-41.
How can we expect to be treated better than our Master? than God Himself? Jesus continued,
23 Whoever hates me also hates my Father. 24 I did works among them that no one else has ever done. If I had not done these works, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen what I have done, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. John 15:23-24
I am immediately reminded of John’s passage about people loving darkness rather than light,
19 They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. 20 All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do. John 3:19-20
Our callings are individual. We each take a stand for Jesus’ sake. It doesn’t matter if no one listens (like Jeremiah and Ezekiel); it doesn’t matter if we see no effect at all on those we are trying to influence. There is an accumulative effect that happens beyond our ability to perceive. We must trust the LORD in each matter. Take courage in doing what He has asked you to do, wherein there is certain satisfaction in our obedience. Let’s just make sure that what we do is Scripturally based and according to what He is leading us to do.
Abba, keep us on task as we follow You. Since we are “in the game,” we know that we cannot see what is happening on other parts of the field. We will trust You to know what’s going on and even what will happen in the future. Ours is to do as You say, when You say, and how You say. Make us good soldiers for You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
We are Servants of Our Savior
Let’s be faithful ones